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Monday, December 12, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

We are finally biting the bullet and making our own laundry detergent.  I have been reluctant because I was worried that it wouldn't work as well.  I have done several loads and am quite satisfied. 

It will help if you have a 5 gallon bucket- we got one at Lowe's for $3 I think.  You will also find it helpful to save 10 gallons worth of used, clean laundry soap dispensers.  I hadn't collected enough when the first batch was made so I headed out on trash day and every other house had an empty laundry detergent container in their recycle bin.   I washed them well and have about 6 containers-we'll be headed out again on Thursday to hopefully top off our stash.  Have to get some essential oils to add to it...

Here's the recipe:
4 cups - hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha Heavy Duty Laundry Bar Soap ($0.97 @ our local Walmart)
      You can also use a Zote Bar
1/2 cup Borax ($2.98 @ Walmart)
Fels Naptha Heavy Duty Laundry Bar Soap, 5.5oz ($0.97 @ Walmart) ONLY one bar! OOPs
1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda ($2.34 @ Walmart)***
     ***This is not Arm & Hammer baking soda.  Our Walmart has all 3 ingredients right next to each other.***
Do not turn your back on this- it will bubble over!
Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with hot water.  Stir continually over medium heat until soap dissolves and is melted.  Took me about 10 minutes.
Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of tap water.  Add melted soap, washing soda and borax.  Stir well until all the powder is dissolved.  Fill the bucket to top with more hot water.  Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
Richard is such a trooper!

Stir the contents of the bucket.  Fill used, clean laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of the way with water.  Shake before each use because it gels.
You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons.  Add once soap has cooled. 
Makes 10 gallons.
Top load machines - 5/8 cup per load = about 180 loads - For us this is about 6 months worth of laundry detergent!
Front load machines - 1/4 cup per load = 640 loads
Next up Dish washing Liquid!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Mikey! I've never actually been brave enough to do this, but I think I am now!